Many people might find the topic of atomic bombs disturbing. Some
may wonder why even discuss the topic. If you stumbled upon this,
you might wonder how someone would "enjoy" putting together a
website about the testing of terrible devices like nuclear weapons.
Even if you read closely, and see that the real intrigue here is the
discovery of long lost classified documents in an attic, and an
unexpected discovery of the previous owner, even at that, you might
still think the topic of nuclear weapons should be left "un-glorified".
On another page, I made reference to people trying to frame the
nuclear era of the 1940's from a modern 2008 perspective. Here, on
this site, I highlight documents and photos from the first post-war
atomic test. In my research for this site, I found many online blogs
that oversimplify the issues of atomic weapons in that post-war era.
Being the son of immigrant parents from Poland who lived through
the war as children, I grew up with a different perspective. Different
from most people whose parents or grandparents lived in the U.S.
Point being, the war was very complex. Motivations, and issues are
never clear. And for people involved, simple survival was what a lot
of decisions came down to.
In an effort to try to have people understand some of the motivations
of the Atomic Age of the 1940's, I have some excerpts from one of my
favorite books of all time. You see the header on this page, "Thank
God for the Atom Bomb". It's not just an ironic catch phrase meant
to shock you. It's the actual title of a book by Paul Fussell.
Paul Fussell was a junior officer in a line company in Europe during
World War 2. And he personally experienced all the terrible things
that go with that, including being severely wounded by shrapnel. In
this book, Professor Fussell talks about the decision to drop the
atomic bombs on Japan, as well as the perspective of someone who
would not have to die because the war was ended.
Despite the fact the war was over when Operation Crossroads
occurred, the memory of the war was still fresh. And America's
strength in victory was accepted and maintained by further testing
of atomic bombs.
I have attempted to contact Paul Fussell via e-mail to request
permission to post this excerpt. Despite not hearing from him, I have
decided to post it here due to its important educational value,
especially in the context of a non-profit site such as this.
Click below to read an excerpt from "Thank God for the Atom Bomb"
Opens as a PDF File
in a new window
NOTE: August 6th, 1945 is
the day the Enola Gay
dropped the bomb on
Hiroshima, 65 years ago